When it comes to cultivating your own weed, you want to make sure that the methods you’re using are as efficient as possible. This is especially true if you’re growing indoors, where space is limited, but it’s the case if you have ample room to spread out in a greenhouse or a garden.
With that said, one of the biggest challenges that cannabis cultivators face is how to maximize the space they’re using to grow their crops, while also ensuring that each and every plant receives as much light (via complex indoor lighting systems) and oxygen as possible (via strategically placed ventilation fans).
When cannabis cultivation started to shift to indoor growing during the 1980s and 1990s, growers had to come up with ways to get the most out of the limited space that they had to work with so that they could produce as many healthy and robust plants as possible.
As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”, and as such, the pioneers of indoor cultivation came up with an ideal solution for the limited amounts of space they had to work with, and that solution quickly gained traction amongst cannabis growers. It’s called “the sea of green” method.
Whether you’re an experienced cultivator and you’re just getting started, if you’re looking for a way to maximize your output, using the sea of life tactic may be worth your while. What is the sea of life method? What’s the idea behind it? How does it work? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep on reading.
What is the sea of green method?
The sea of green method (tactic or strategy would also be proper terms to use to describe it), commonly referred to simply as “SOG” among the cannabis cultivation community, is a stress-free, hassle-free technique that involves growing a lot of small-sized marijuana plants in a single, compact space, rather than a handful of larger plants.
The premise behind this strategy is that if the plants in a small area (like a closet or basement for example) are pushed into their flowering phase earlier than they normally would enter the phase, they will only have to grow half the size they normally would in order to support full development.
In other words, the SOG method accelerates the development of buds, thus allowing the cultivator to maximize the size of their yields in a short amount of time.
In short, the SOG method involves growing more, yet smaller plants, per square footage, and speeding up the vegetative stage. The smaller size of the plants means that they take less time to flower, and of course, because they’re more compact, they don’t require as much space – a 360 degree win!
The sea of green strategy involves clustering a lot of plants in tight quarters under a collection of grow lights. The plants grow together, and as they do, they develop a lush canopy of leaves and buds, which, when you stand back and look into the space, literally looks like a “sea of green” – hence the name.
When the plants are provided with appropriate care – water, nutrition/fertilizer, light, and ventilation – and under the guidance of your watchful eye – you, too, can grow a healthy, robust bounty of cannabis plants.
What are the benefits of the SOG method?
This unique method of growing cannabis plants affords several benefits, some of the most notable of which include:
- A high level yield for compact foot prints (great for residential growing or hobbyist grows)
- Faster growth and harvests (get your money’s worth)
- Maximizing the grow space (no wasted space, no wasted light, no wasted nutrients)
- Highly efficient resource use (efficiency is better for mother earth)
With the SOG method, you don’t have to “top” the plants, which means that you’ll achieve bud sites at a much faster rate. The faster the buds on your ganja plants form, the faster you can harvest your crop, and the more crops you will be able to grow.
If you’re a 420 business owner or you simply want to achieve harvests that produce large yields on a consistent basis for your own personal use, with the sea of green technique, you’ll be able to do just that.
How do you use the sea of green technique?
Putting the SOG method into practice is pretty easy; however, before you get started, you should consider the following:
- This growing technique works best with strains of marijuana that are more compact in size like auto-flowers, as you will need to cluster the plants together.
- The plants should also be equivalent in height, so as to establish a uniform canopy; hence why using starter plants that are sourced from tissue culture or cutting propagation techniques.
Once you’ve figured out what plants you’d like to grow, you can get your compact sea of green garden started using the following simple, yet invaluable tips:
- When your plants are ready, transfer them into the vegetative stage for about 2 to 3 weeks rather than the 2 to 6 weeks that are used with other growing techniques.
- Once the 2 to 3 weeks have concluded, switch the lighting and the environment to encourage the flowering stage.
- Once the canopy starts closing, to allow for better airflow and top growth, trim the lower branches on the plants.
- When you’re happy with your buds, you can start harvesting!
- Lather, rinse, repeat!
Are there any challenges?
Sounds pretty easy, huh? Generally speaking, it is, but there are some challenges with the SOG method. The primary difficulty occurs when you have to change-up the environmental conditions in order to boost bud yields, which can be pretty tricky.
To help simplify the process, here are some tips that you can use to adjust your lighting appropriately.
- When the cannabis clones are just beginning, use a 150 to 200 micromoles light, and delicately increase it to 550 micromoles to accommodate the vegetative stage of growth.
- During the vegetative cycle of growth, adjust the lighting so that they provide the appropriate amount of lighting during this stage for the entire duration of the cycle: 18 hours on and 12 hours off.
- To help transition your cannabis plants from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage, delicately up the lighting up to 550 to 800 or more micromoles. Typically, the more light your plants receive, the more your SOG garden will yield per square foot. Generally speaking, 1 percent of light is equivalent to 1 percent yield.
- Switch up the lighting so that they’re on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours to encourage the flowering stage of growth.
If constantly adjusting the lighting sounds like a difficult, time-consuming, and taxing task, do yourself a favor and invest in grow light software or timers so that you can adjust the lighting automatically during the appropriate cycles of growth.
Herb CEO Summary
Sea of Green growing tactics are deployed around the world wherever growers operate on tight budgets and/or tight space restrictions that don’t allow the spread out (and relatively inefficient) industrial grow operations that consume massive amounts of water, light, and nutrients, which if you’ve been growing for a while know are not cheap!
There is no one “best” way to cultivate the good plant, and nobody should ever dictate to you how best to grow your cannabis, there are many routes that lead to the same destination we all seek.
That said, if you are limited with your space, such as growing in a city with expensive real estate, or if you’re on the side of a mountain, again with limited space, then Sea of Green would seem like a it of a no-brainer purely for efficiencies sake.
What’s your take? Do you grow in a Sea of Green? Tried it and didn’t work out? Let us know in the comments so that other growers and enthusiasts can learn from your experiences as well so we all “grow” together!